where the writers are
An invaluable guide to understanding Utamaro's prints
Date of Review: 
Published Work: 
David Stokes

This is an invaluable guide for anyone with a real interest in Japanese prints. Although the author says her aim was to put together a reference book for readers with an interest in Utamaro, the information in this book would be of interest to anyone who wants to know more about the subjects in Japanese prints in general. It's a well researched book with an incredible amount of information, including sections about the warriors and tragic lovers that many Ukiyo-e artists drew from the most popular Kabuki plays. There's a section on the Chushingura, on Gods and legends, and a history of the Yoshiwara, and everything's divided up to make it accessible and easy to read. The appendixes are a real help for looking up names on Japanese prints such as the courtesans and tea house beauties, and there's a large selection of publisher's seals and Utamaro's signatures. This is a must read for anyone seriously interested in Japanese prints and there are a few prints in it that I'd never seen before.